The size and topography of the state make it one of the most biologically diverse in the nation. The working forests supply New Mexico’s citizens with wood products and critical ecosystem services including clean water, wildlife habitat, flood protection, and erosion control. This Resources Assessment and Strategy intends to guide long-term management, but just as importantly, to provide useful information to our many partners who work together to create and maintain sustainable forests and their many benefits.
Conserve working landscapes by developing economic viability of forest product markets and other environmental services.
Restoration of fire and flood adapted systems to address the threat of wildfire, insect and disease outbreaks, and non-native invasive species.
Improve the condition of watersheds for public benefit and recognize the importance of the state’s urban and community forests.
Community forests provide immense benefits. However, in New Mexico, high variability in community demographics, social issues, economic resources all create barriers that make it difficult for our statewide program to efficiently and effectively serve our communities. The key strategy is to assist communities with developing unique strategies to meet their needs (resulting in true empowerment and sustainable local program development) and build a network of partners that continues to enhance awareness among communities.
The lack of fire in many of New Mexico’s watershed systems has altered vegetation structure, composition, and condition and increased the risk of uncharacteristic fires. Fire planning and fuel reductions to safely and effectively manage fire while promoting natural resource benefit is a key strategy. However, it is important to note that in developed areas, management options that protect life and property will take first priority.
Conditions in many of New Mexico’s watersheds are less than optimal for a combination of reasons, including development and recreational pressures as well as a lack of natural disturbances. Climate change threatens to push stressed ecosystems further toward the edge, or even beyond, their natural range of variability. At the same time, these ecosystems are faced with increasing demand for water and other less tangible benefits by a growing population.